The book is set in Afghanistan in the year 1975 before the exile of King Zahir Shah and the invasion of the Soviet Union. The story has two parts; one part takes place in the past while the other in the present.
The story is about a unique friendship between two young boys Amir and Hassan. The plot of the novel stays true to its protagonists and the main narrator of the novel is Amir. The story begins in Afghanistan in 1975 and later moves on to the United States of America and then comes back to Afghanistan. The plot develops on the basis of the bond between these two boys Amir and Hassan and as it progresses, it leads to betrayal. The story beautifully brings out every emotion the characters face may it be joy, guilt or redemption. It explores the different dynamics of the relationships between the characters in the novel.
In the novel, there is a stark contrast between the lives of the Afghans before the civil war and during the reign of the Taliban. It was very interesting to read the descriptions of Kabul as it is not something that comes to our minds when we imagine it. The culture, people, and atmosphere of that time seems so realistic through the descriptions and feels a little reminiscent from the writer’s point of view. The descriptions in the book show a disparity between the way of life in the First World through Amir and then when he goes back to Afghanistan to rescue his nephew, through his narration we get to know the terrible condition of people in the war-torn nation.
Amir and his father are among the many that fled Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion and there are references to the kind of struggles they go through as the immigrant population of the country. The novel boasts of strong characters yet they have flaws that keep them grounded and relatable to the readers. It is an amazing book no doubt but at times it becomes difficult to read due to its heavy subject matter and themes. It is a book that gives us an insight into the lives of the Afghan people before it became a war-torn nation which is a fresh perspective for today’s readers.
The book is divided into two parts – the past and the present. The story doesn’t feel disconnected at any point even with the division. It actually shows the difference in the characters’ lives. Some moments stay with you for days after you have finished reading. It painted a whole new picture of Afghanistan before all the troubles. The characters are so genuine, you feel connected to their emotions and journeys from the start which makes their arcs more satisfying.
The Kite Runner is one of my favorite books of all time. It remains fresh in your mind for a long time after reading. The emotions of the love for friends and family, guilt, and redemption are the main themes throughout the story. I highly recommend this book, it’s tragic yet beautiful.
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